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Tips to help you with your executor duties

If you are the executor of a loved one's will, you might have a challenging job ahead of you. The duties can often be time-consuming and usually include protecting the decedent's assets until it is time to dissolve the estate and distribute the remaining property to the beneficiaries. If you feel that these duties are too much to handle, you do have the option to request the probate court in Los Angeles to assign the duties to another individual.

As an executor, you will probably need some help while you see to the estate of your loved one. The following tips can help you stay on track.

Get the death certificate

You will need the decedent's death certificate in order to deal with banks and other financial institutions as well as agencies such as the Social Security Administration and Veteran's Affairs. You will also need copies of the death certificate to file the decedent's final tax returns. Be sure you obtain at least twice as many copies as you think you will need to ensure that you have enough as you go through these processes.

Locate the will or trust

One of the most important things you will do as the executor is to find the Last Will and Testament as well as any trust documents. Unless there is a living trust that will allow you to bypass probate, you will have to file a copy of the will with the court fairly soon after the death of your loved one.

Take care of the assets

As the executor of an estate, part of your duties include locating all of the assets that the estate owns. Once you know where they are, you must take steps to protect them and ensure that the proper beneficiaries receive them. In other words, you may have to protect items such as family heirlooms or collectibles from the decedent's relatives who might try to obtain them without any rights to do so.

If you are the executor of an estate, the above tips can help you stay on track with your duties. In addition to these tips, you many want to enlist the help of experienced professionals such as accountants, tax preparers or financial advisors.

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